Doesn't anyone on here besides me ever gain weight and have to redo her wardrobe? The exercise isn't nearly as much fun in that case. But at least you get to keep the shoes, jewelry and other accessories.

old chic, yep that's how I started out with wardrobe revamping. I had some old favorite clothes I was now 3 or 4 sizes too big for, and a pair of jeans and sneakers that were wearing out. I happily embraced the over-sized tunic tops look (no more bodycon tops) and leggings at first with some stretchy tube skirts. I'm glad I went that route because a year later now that I'm once again at a smaller size after a decade, I can still wear the leggings and (even more oversized) tops if I wish.

Good ideas, rabbit. I am going to look for more stretchy things. And I am going to finally have to replace the precious-but-no-longer-appropriate jackets that I've been preserving so carefully from my executive days that ended >5 years ago. Hmm, maybe that will be fun. I have to think about it.

Old chic, yes, I've definitely had to do that, and in fact am restricted to a subset of my wardrobe right now because I've crept up in weight this winter and have had to put a lot of my clothes away for now. I lost ~25 pounds two years ago and got rid of a lot of my bigger stuff - probably worth doing anyway because a lot of it was old and frumpy, but still, I don't have it anymore as a backup. I also shrank out of about a third of my shoes, so it's not always true that you don't change shoe sizes when you gain/lose weight.

Like rachylou said about her wardrobe and diabetes, it's freakin' annoying to be forced to buy a whole new wardrobe in a hurry, even if you have some money to do it with. It's even worse when you're limited in budget. I've had to do it a few times and I've always started with thrifting or somewhere cheap but solid like Target, then built back up via sales and such.

I'd probably start with something similar to Firecracker's approach, and get a couple pairs of versatile jeans and a comfy pair of shoes for the season I'm in. Jacket if I need one, or a cardigan, and some knit tees. Then one bottom or dress that's nicer for professional or social occasions and a few more pairs of shoes.

Stylewise I wouldn't make a 180, but I have been going more basic recently, with more neutrals and less prints and colors, and paradoxically more casual, accepting that I just don't need to dress business casual anymore. So jeans and stuff that goes with jeans rather than trousers or pencil skirts. I'm not a big jewelry person so I wouldn't miss most of mine, except for a few pieces that were my grandmother's and some gifts from my parents and DH.

I can't say that my style has changed radically, so losing my wardrobe would not cause undo angst except for finding replacements in my Sci-Art soft autumn color palette. It takes a while to acquire wardrobe pieces in colors that work well together and with my personal coloring.

I would, however, feel a lot of anxiety if I lost my jewelry. I love everything I have, and haven't tired of any of it. I shudder to think how difficult it would be to replace the unique pieces that didn't come from the U.S.

I recall someone once asking what to buy to start from scratch with $500 and I did a Polyvore for her. Interesting to see that, 3 years later, I would change some things. Of course, this was with her parameters in mind, not mine.
I would definitely have to qualify my response within a certain budget, though. Pie in the sky, What Not to Wear $5000 type budget, I'd include a leather jacket and boots, jewelry and belts. But if we're talking hard times, buy what you need to get by with the regular income/budget you're used to, I'd have to start with basically jeans, some knit tops and/or tees, a couple of casual jackets and 3 or 4 pair of shoes.

Interesting, Mo! What would you change?

We'd have to start with the black pants, because, you know, those are like the core, base staple of my whole wardrobe

Then shoes. Ooooh, to get to rebuy all my shoes. They would all have to be super cool, but "ahhh" shoes. You know the noise you make when you slip your feet into amazingly comfy shoes

Rachy, like I said it was for someone else, hence the plus sizes but let's see . . . Oh, boots to booties - flats would become strappy flat sandals. Jeans would be skinnies. Cardi would become cotton utility jacket or maybe a moto in a lightweight (not leather - too $$$). Dress might change to a maxi. The bra I would buy on sale and get 2 - one racerback style. That's for starters. I would add in at least 2 tees, a light and a dark neutral. I think that could still squeeze in under $500.

Oh Rachy, what a great idea. I am off to do the same.

I think i'd start with Angie's maternity wear capsule and add on as necessary.

Now that I think about it, Imogen Lamport did a great capsule wardrobe on a budget post on her blog once, sponsored by (Australian) Target. It was an excellent starting place, although you'd have to change the colors up if you didn't suit black and brights.

ETA: found the link, but misremembered. It was sponsored by Big W. 12 pieces of clothing, 2 pairs shoes, 5 accessories, total less than $200.


I'm facing this issue right now. I've been a SAHM for 6 years & 2 kiddos (ages 6 & 2.5). I still have babyweight from the oldest and have been in denial/refused to accept & dress who I was so I dressed like a college student meets frumpy mom. I'm now working with a trainer 5 days a week and getting my sweet tooth in line. Over the next few months/year I'm hoping to lose about 50lbs to be within the healthy range for my height. My mentality has shifted to accept where I am while working towards a better, physically healthier lifestyle. All that means is, I'm quite literally planning my new wardrobe because once I get to my goal, NOTHING WILL FIT ME!!! I'm incredibly thrilled about that. I'm fairly confident in my style; classic, comfortable, cotton & colorful! So,
-Boot cut jeans (several hemmed for flats, a couple for low/med heels). I know myself and know that I need several duplicates here. Mostly darker wash but a couple lighter in color to dress it down a bit.
-Dark skinnies & colorful skinnies. I see this as my challenge. To find skinnies that I feel comfortable in. I have hips, will always have hips and like my bum covered.
-Stylish shorts. I like simple, not too long, not too short no embellishment colors.
-Blouses. Blouses EVERYWHERE. I'm not a fan of tshirts or even embellished tshirt like tops. They make me feel like I'm in pajamas. Loose fitting, no tight arms, lots of colors. I need to be able to MOVE! That's where I have the most issue.
-Cardigans. This is my favorite. I was reading the post on the 3rd piece rule and could happily wear a cardigan every day.
-One Navy blazer. I will gladly pay a pretty penny for a well-fitting but not constrictive blazer that I can layer over dresses, goes with my jeans & skinnies, even shorts. I don't need officewear on a regular basis but I am a "professional volunteer" and need to jazz it up a bit sometimes.
-Dresses. I love fit & flare, think MadMen. I rock the occasional knit pencil skirt when I'm feeling saucy but steer to dresses over skirts for the most part.
-Loads of funky flats & low heels plus a few classic neutrals but generally, I like shoes to be a statement.
-Boots are a different story! Tall knee highs, ankle booties, mid calf cowboy...I want them all.
-Accessories. I don't wear rings or bracelets but statement necklaces, dangly earrings & I want to work in more scarves.
-A fab trench coat. I saw a polka dot navy one and drooled.

I'd start with some jeans, black pants, black pencil skirt, black leggings and a basic black dress (these probably from Eileen Fisher as I love the ones I already have from her). Some Ts and sweaters from Everlane and Eileen Fisher.

Add some great scarves (hopefully I still have my jewelry), a comfy pair of black flats, black open toe shooties, black knee high boots with a little bit of heel.

Next a great topper, would love an animal print and I have been looking but haven't found what I'm dreaming of...and the perfect "Brown" leather jacket, which I've been looking for for years now...not too short, thick squishy leather (lamb would be ideal)...prefer a zipper over buttons. I told my husband that if I find what I'm looking for, I will buy it regardless of cost.

Then, I would start adding in lighter neutral basics, shoes, pants, skirt etc.

I love my handbags and would hate to have to start over again.

That's a very interesting exercise for imagination. I think my base wardrobe would be:

- a pair of very basic flare jeans - dark muted blue and dark-almost-black-grey (really basic, almost social style, no details or embellishments)
- low rise extra flare jeans "washed out" dark blue, more casual
- black straight above-knee skirt
- black suit pants (with bootcut trouser and two button blazer)
- a versatile dark blue or green knee length A-line skirt (versatile meaning something I can use on a work meeting, happy hour or to go out for a dinner)
- denim shorts rolled up
- olive rain parka
- 3/4 black coat
- dark denim jacket with a "blazer like" cut
- one extra blazer or coat in a vivid carmine red or dark wine or aubergine
- a pearl white, round neck, buttoned cardigan
- a casual knee length w/ marked waist summer dress in a colorful pattern
- a business/classic cap sleeve knee length dress (any muted dark blue)
- multi-way knee length black A-line dress
- classic white shirt
- v-neck sleeveless fitting black top
- a long shirt in fluid fabric (mini dress length)

plus a set of tops with different neck-lines/colors/fits/details distribute in: 2-3 long sleeve "doesn't need iron" shirts, 2-3 long sleeve basic tees, 2-3 strap/tank tops; 2-3 sleeveless blouses; 2-3 cap or short sleeve tees;

plus a set of accessories w/ a black 2 finger wide belt; 2 pashminas in solid colors, a patterned one and a white wool scarf, 2-3 silver earings, long silver chain w/ single rustic stone pendant, short silver chain w/ delicate pendant, a set of boho bracelets mixing silver leather, black, blue and green; , a statement bracelet; marcasite bracelet, earings and pendant; 1 cross shoulder casual purse, 1 classy black clutcher and a medium size shoulder black handbag.

shoes: low wedge or low-heel strappy sandals; mid-heel black sandals with ankle strap; melissa flats; black ballerinas; mid-heel black court shoes; high-heel black pumps; black mid-heel closed ankle-boots

(plus good underwear and some louge/gym pieces)

This has been an interesting read!
It seems to reveal our first love, be it shoes, accessories, jeans or skirts and dresses.
The first thing I would buy would be straight-legged jeans, basic Tee and loafers

I think it also shows how we have preferences for starting point for building outfits. Kind of like when I plan a meal, I always start with the carb as the base, pasta, potatoes or rice. DH thinks about the meat first. It ends up the same, but how we get there is different.

I kind of had to do that last year! And, we have very similar tastes I do believe... I punted on the black leather moto & bought a very cute pleather one. I'll happily upgrade when I find a better one in leather. And the CPW is already down to less than $1.00.

Rambling Ann make me realize a curious thing. I indeed start building my outfits with the bottom+coat/jacket/blazer/cardigan pairing - those are the first things I choose every morning and were also the first things I put on my list. But trousers are not the piece I love most, they are the pieces I have the hardest time fitting in while coats are not my favorite pieces, but my most needed ones (bottom fit huge issues and thermal/weather comfort ridiculous issues).
The things I love most, tops and accessories, are easier to match and I'm a lot less picky about them. Now I'm wondering if I feel those things are easier to wear because I actually like them most or if I love them most because they are the easier to fit/wear.
How do you girls feel about this?

I would cry and then I'd cry some more and I guess I would just wear what I had on...I have no interest or inclination in doing another wardrobe...I have carefully added each piece and am in the process of a spring to have to start again would be anquish and pain...
Sorry if I am no fun in the imagining category but I can't even imagine having to start again...

I would spend a lot of time wearing jeans and t-shirts, because it takes me a g e s to find clothes that fit, are in the right colors and are in my minimalist, elongated style!
As it is, I've been trying to find some new trousers for MONTHS, groan. In the end I cracked and made some for myself- they're not perfect, but better then many of the things I could find in the shops!

Mine is trousers. I have had to have almost every pair of my pants altered - either the waist taken in, the hem shortened as I only wear flats, or both. It adds 15%-30% to the cost of each pair of pants I own, and I wear those pants all the time. So yeah, I would want to keep those for sure! They are all basic colors anyway - black, ink, grey, and kahki. That is it I would love to add a white pair back in, but my last pair was reduced to weekend never leave the house wear after they were stained.

The next thing would be better toppers. I just don't know´╗┐ what to add here yet other than super comfy knit ones.

Everything would be machine washable except maybe outerwear, and I would make a concerted effort not to buy anything in solid, flat black; textured black would be okay. This is from the person who, after declaring a moratorium on black has bought two pairs of flat black pants, black sandals, a black scuba skirt, a black top with shine (maybe doesn't count), and a black top that maybe also doesn't count due to the laser cut-outs.

I would probably aim for replacing my toughest fits first, like footwear, but I would probably default to easier fits like pullovers and other knits.

My feet need to wear Dansko clogs at least some of the time. Yeah, I know. This means I need to have some jeans and skirts that work with chunky shoes.

I have a moto vest that I wear constantly, but I have a pewter down vest that I wore constantly before that so I know I am fickle with my loves. Down the road, those items may not work anymore due to the proportions and fit of the items underneath or my style changes.

As long as items fit and were comfortable, I would approach replacement with an open mind.